Federal highway safety officials have announced a recall of more than 180,000 Ram pickup trucks, after receiving several consumer complaints indicating that the transmission may shift out of the Park position without pushing the brake pedal, posing a roll away and injury hazard.
The Ram truck roll-away recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on February 8, after recognizing the vehicles’ shifter may come out of the Park position without a key in the ignition or without pressing the brake pedal, increasing the risk of a roll away hazard.
The recalled Ram trucks are equipped with a Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI), which may overheat when energized by depression of the brake pedal, causing the BTSI housing plastic to swell and the grease to degrade.
In the event the BTSI overheats, the locking pin may become stuck in the open position, allowing the transmission to be shifted out of the Park position and to any gear without the depression of the brake pedal or without a key in the ignition.
Roll away accidents are extremely dangerous, especially for heavy pickup trucks, which may cause serious injuries and fatalities for occupants and bystanders. The NHTSA warns roll away accidents are a particular problem when young children are being transported, as the caregiver may get out of the vehicle to unbuckle the child, placing both the caregiver and child at risk if the vehicle begins to roll away.
The recall includes an estimated 180,462 model year 2017 through 2018 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 3500 Cab Chassis, 4500 Cab Chassis, and 5500 Cab Chassis vehicles, all equipped with a column shifter.
The vehicles were manufactured by FCA US LLC of Auburn Hills, Michigan from January 1, 2017 through January 24, 2018, and were distributed throughout the United States to licensed Ram dealers.
The manufacturer has initiated the recall notification process and will be sending mailed instructions to dealers and customers with information on how to update the Body Control Module software, test the BTSI operation, and replace the solenoid as necessary. The recall is expected to begin on March 30, 2018. Customer with additional questions or concerns may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and reference the recall campaign number U11.
Just last year, FCA announced a recall of approximately 1.8 million Ram pickups on December 22, 2017, due to the potential for prolonged heat exposure to the shift interlock to allow the shifter to move out of gear unexpectedly, posing a roll away risk.
The previous recall impacted certain model year 2010 through 2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, 2011 through 2017 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs, as well as 2016 and 2017 Ram 3500 chassis cabs of less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicles weight. The recall also includes certain 2009 through 2017 Ram 1500 models.